In 1963, Padre Pio had observed that the Holy Veil of Manoppello was “the greatest miracle in our possession.”
On September 16, 2014, Bishop Roberto Mallari of Nueva Ecija, in the presence of Archbishop Florentino Lavarias of Pampanga and Bishop Florentino Cinense of Tarlac, led by Immaculate Conception Parish Priest Fr. Christian Magtalas and Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Rector of the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello, and benefactors the Alzate and Gallego families, enthroned the Sudarium (an exact replica gifted by the Basilica di Volto Santo in Manoppello), honored as the burial cloth of Christ which bears the Holy Face of the Risen Jesus.
In his homily, Bishop Mallari said, “Why in this poor parish of Nampicuan? Why not in the beautiful cathedrals and basilicas around the Philippines? Why the Philippines? The Episcopal Motto of Pope Francis is: Miserando Atque Eligendo, meaning "Lowly and yet Chosen" which is the summary of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Each one of you is invited through our Blessed Mother Mary, the Immaculate Conception to see and know Jesus by gazing at the face of her son.”
Also known as the Veronica, from the Latin words "vero" (meaning TRUE) and "eikon" (meaning IMAGE), the Veil is not the cloth that a woman named Veronica used to wipe the face of Jesus on His Way to the Cross; rather it is the cloth that was put on the face of the dead Jesus when he was buried, in accordance with Jewish tradition.
From the Gospel of John 20:1-9:
"Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead."
In a 1999 press conference in Rome, Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, Jesuit professor of the Gregorian University, announced that the Veil in Manoppello is none other than the historic and legendary Veronica. In 2005, German historian/journalist Paul Badde wrote his book, “The Face of God” which documented his lifelong research on the relic in Manoppello, and sent it to Pope Benedict XVI. On September 1, 2006, Pope Benedict visited the shrine and proclaimed this year as the Year of the Great Jubilee of the Divine Countenance Sanctuary in Manoppello. In the picture to the left, Pope Benedict is with the Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, the Rector of the Basilica of the Holy Veil in Manoppello, Italy.
The veil is 17 x 24 cm, the cloth made of rare, sheer fiber “sea silk” made from mollusk called “byssus”, usually found in the tombs of Egyptian pharoahs. The most striking thing about the Veil is its transparency. The image remains perfectly visible from either side, yet under certain light, the image disappears. Scientific tests under ultraviolet light and under the microscope show no paint pigments. This is why it has been referred to as“acheiropoietos” meaning “not made by the hand of man.”
In 1978, when Sister Blandina Schloemer, who spent 20 years of her life studying the Veil, superimposed the Countenance from the Turin Shroud with the Countenance of Manoppello, she found a PERFECT MATCH. The negative of the Dead Christ was fixed on the Turin Shroud, while the positive of the Resurrected Christ was imprinted on the Veil (picture to the right).
History of the Veil
The veil has long been acknowledged as the “sudarium” or burial face cloth of Jesus. Together with the Shroud (Sacra Sindone), the Holy Veil (Volto Santo) is believed to have travelled together from Jerusalem to Capadoccia to Edessa where they were kept until the 5th Century. In the 8th century, the Volto Santo reached Rome and was kept in St. Veronica’s Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica. Vatican records speak of events such as of Pope Stephen II in 753 AD, walking barefoot carrying the imprint of Christ’s Countenance, and of Pope Innocent II in 1208 AD parading the Veil in the Vatican on the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany. This ceremony ended with giving alms to the poorest citizens of Rome. Famous people through the Middle Ages, such as writer Dante Alighieri, poet Francesco Petrarca and St. Brigid of Sweden have all attested to the existence of the Veil. In 1506, Pope Urban VII built the column with the most important vault of the Vatican for “keeping the True Countenance of Christ.” (picture to the left)
Sometime between the rebuilding of Rome in 1506 and the sack of Rome in 1527, the Veil disappeared. Capuchin Donato de Bomba’s history of the Veil tells of a certain Dr. Antonio Leonelli who lived in the 1500s and was approached by an unknown pilgrim in the church square of Manoppello. The pilgrim asked the doctor to follow him in the church. In the church, the pilgrim handed the doctor a bundle. When Leonelli opened it, he saw the beautiful image of Christ. When Leonelli tried to thank the pilgrim, the pilgrim had vanished without a trace. In 1638, the Veil was bought by Antonio de Fabritiis from the Leonellis and gifted to the Capuchins in Manoppello, where it has stayed ever since.
From the Basilica del Volto Santo
The ‘Holy Veil of Manoppello’ enthroned in the Immaculate Conception Parish in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija is a replica of the ‘One and Only, Unique and Most Precious Relic of the Resurrection’ kept for centuries at the Basilica del Santo Volto in Manoppello, Italy.
The replica given by the Rector of the Basilica del Volto Santo to the Parish Priest of the Immaculate Conception and is now enthroned in the Parish Church is the only replica enthroned outside the Basilica del Volto Santo.
Other images of the “Veil of Manoppello” going around since its arrival in the Philippines are but enlargement and copies of the replica and/or of the original.
The ‘Veil of Manoppello’ donated by the Rector of the Basilica del Volto Santo is a special sign of missionary promotion through the kindness of the Alzate Family who requested a replica to be venerated in the Parish of Nampicuan. Thus, it was a simple gesture of bond and benevolence on the part of the Rector to the faithful of the small town; for this reason, any kind of documentation is deemed superfluous.
There are countless episodes of healing, miracles and favors recorded since the arrival of the Holy Veil to the small town of Manoppello starting from the 16th century. The miraculous phenomenon still continues to date.
The Veil has a mysterious origin. There is no direct evidence indicating that the ‘Veil of Manoppello’ was the one used by the pious woman popularly known as Veronica in wiping the face of the Lord on the way to Golgotha. However, recent developments on research and investigations conducted by Italian and foreign scholars illustrate that the ‘Veil of Manoppello’ was the ‘sudarium’ found by the Apostles, St. John and St. Peter, inside the tomb where the Lord was buried and where He rose from the dead. Manoppello, 27.09.2014
Frater Carmine Cucinelli, Rector of Basilica of Holy Face. Manoppello (Italy)
Guided by St. Joseph, Worker and Husband of Mary, the Mother of God and invigorated by the self-offering of the missionary founders,
We, the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija envision to be a fully Local Church rooted in Christ, evangelized and evangelizing the Poor especially those in the margin of the society.
WHAT WE DO
Promoting a personal and renewed encounter with Christ
Communio-in-missio as a way of evangelization
Inculturating the Gospel
Strengthening of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs)
Taking care of our environment as our advocacy
Inculcating a missionary spirit to all
Following the spirituality of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary
Promoting the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus
“Why in this poor parish of Nampicuan? Why not in the beautiful cathedrals and basilicas around the Philippines? Why the Philippines? The Episcopal Motto of Pope Francis is: Miserando Atque Eligendo, meaning "Lowly and yet Chosen" which is the summary of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Each one of you is invited through our Blessed Mother Mary, the Immaculate Conception to see and know Jesus by gazing at the face of her son.”
MOST REV. ROBERTO C. MALLARI, D.D.
Bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija
LISTEN TO OUR RECTOR
Watch and listen to the regular weekly Gospel reflection of our parish priest and rector entitled, Gospel in a Nutshell which is also being aired at TV Maria every Sunday at 8:00am and 4:00pm. You may also follow him on his Facebook Fanpage: Servus Amoris to be updated with his regular Vlog.